India Uncut

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Monday, July 25, 2005

Government like cancer

Jerry Rao writes:
Clearly we need an unambiguous platform that calls for a minimalist non-predatory state, a platform that recognises that but for Avadi, we would today be as rich as Korea or Malaysia. We would not have barefoot children begging in the horror-stricken moonscapes of contemporary urban India. We would not have two hundred million citizens, or shall we correctly call them “subjects” of our socialist state, going to bed hungry each night.

We have no money for a well-paid police force or a well-staffed court system or for well-paved roads or for working schools or for employment for the rural poor giving them wages, mind you not doles! We have plenty of money for Ministries of Steel, Fertilisers, Coal, Chemicals, Petroleum, Civil Aviation and Banking with dozens of ministers, scores of secretaries, hundreds of joint secretaries and thousands of deputy secretaries. We never have shortage of funds for growing malignant government cells, but are always short of money for pursuing the proper ends of government.
Later in his piece, Rao echoes the sentiment I'd expressed here, when he writes:
We all know that radical reforms make an impact only after some lags. We are today reaping the benefits of the reforms of fifteen years ago. But the Congress party seems to be shifting back to weak-kneed socialism. It is as if the embrace of reforms was entirely under duress, not a matter of conviction. Keeping Luddite coalition partners happy seems to take precedence over economic sanity.
Yes. Read the full piece, in which he hopes for the emergence of a party like C Rajagopalachari's Swatantra Party, and for "a Thatcher-Reagan revolution".

My musings on a similar subject: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
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